ENVISION COLUMBUS Aims For 'Bold' Strategies

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(Graphic courtesy of DAVID RUBIN Land Collective.) (Graphic courtesy of DAVID RUBIN Land Collective.)

The unveiling of a long-term strategic plan for downtown Columbus is two months away and the lead planning consultant says the results will be "catalytic" for the Bartholomew County community. David Rubin of Philadelphia-based DAVID RUBIN Land Collective says the feedback and collaboration so far concerning potential projects within the 938-acre study area have involved "a very diverse constituency." ENVISION COLUMBUS is designed to update the city's 2005 Downtown Strategic Development Plan, and focuses on proposals designed to boost economic strength and diversification, quality of life and the vibrancy of the city's core.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Rubin said the aspiration of leaders is to offer a plan that is "not only visionary, but capable of being realized." He adds "we would be doing the city a disservice if we did not offer a plan in the end that could be achievable." The vision, he says will be flexible and adaptable to the goals can be met.

Specific proposals that have been discussed include locating a grocery store downtown, the "adaptive reuse" of the Crump Theatre and the addition of an adjoining 184-room hotel and conference center, as well as adding townhomes and single-family dwellings downtown and improving parks, trails and other public infrastructure throughout the city.

Rubin says the final plan "will not be dependent upon any one particular project coming first, but that has the capacity to start with any particular project and any particular funding source to then robustly follow through with the steps that establish the bold vision that we're striving for."

The project, which is funded and organized by The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County's Heritage Fund and the Cummins Foundation, was launched in February and will run through October 1 when the final plan is unveiled. The vision is designed to cover downtown redevelopment over the next 20-30 years.

View a slideshow of the most recent public gathering's "Near-final Plan Presentation":

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, David Rubin said the aspiration of leaders is to offer a plan that is "not only visionary, but capable of being realized."
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